# Standard: A1

Understand patterns, relations, and functions

## lessons

In this lesson, children will create patterns using beads to string a necklace.

## Cereal Sorting

In this lesson, children will sort loop cereal such as Fruit Cheerios or Fruit Loops by color and then make patterned bracelets.

## Coin-Rubbing Matching Game

In this lesson, children will examine the attributes of coins to identify similarities and differences.

## Dinosaur Hop

In this board game, children collect dinosaurs of different colors as they count their way around the board.

## Dynamic Dominoes

In this lesson, children will be introduced to a variety of beginning math concepts using dominoes.

## Eating Up Patterns

In this lesson, children will sort by color and then create and extend patterns using Fruit Loops cereal.

## Fill the Carton

In this lesson, children will practice counting and number recognition using numbers one thru twelve, an egg carton and small manipulatives such as pebbles.

In this lesson, children will string the correct number of beads onto pipe cleaners. The number of beads will correspond with the number on the label at the top of each pipe cleaner.

## Hungry Alligator

In this lesson, children will determine if a number is greater than, less than or equal to another.

## Inch by Inch

In this lesson, children will use colored measuring worms to measure the legs of the heron in the book

## Jack and the Beanstalk

In this lesson, children will estimate and then measure how many beans fit in the giant’s hand and compare it to how many beans fit in their own hands.

## Jump in the River

In this lesson, children will explore addition of whole numbers.

## Knives, Forks and Spoons, Oh My!

In this lesson, children will sort and classify utensils and use them to show and describe relative positioning in space.

## Laundry Sorting

In this lesson, children will sort “laundry” by color, size, shape and clothing attribute.

## Measuring Straws

In this lesson, children will use pre-cut straws and match them up with a corresponding length on a piece of paper.

## Number Memory

In this lesson, children will match cards that display numbers with cards that display groups of objects that represent those numbers.

## Number Sequence Puzzle

In this lesson, children will assemble a puzzle using number strips in the order of 1-10.

## Number Yard

In this lesson, children will create their own number yard books by drawing the number of objects that correspond with the numbers on the pages of the book.

## Odd or Even

In this lesson, children will differentiate between odd and even numbers by sorting numbers 1-20 into “Odd” or “Even” circles.

## One Duck Stuck

In this lesson, children will read the book and begin to recognize that each number is one more than the one before it and that a growing pattern is a pattern that increases or decreases by a constant difference.

## One Fish, Red Fish

In this lesson, children will sort, count and record piles of different-colored Goldfish crackers.

## Painted Rock

In this lesson, children will use rocks numbered from one to 10 to practice sequencing skills.

## Patterns in Sounds and Shapes

In this lesson, children will listen to and recognize patterns in sounds, actions and shapes.

## Planes, Trains and Automobiles

In this lesson, children will graph the different vehicles that they scoop out of a bucket and then analyze their collected data.

## Quack and Count

In this lesson, children will use manipulatives to form different groups that make up the number seven.

## Remainder of One

In this lesson, children will arrange them 25 cubes into groups of two, three, four and five. The children will examine the different groups and learn about the concept of a remainder.

## Sandwich Shop Game

In this lesson, children look at a menu and count out sandwich pieces to build sandwiches and then calculate the prices of their sandwiches.

## Tally It Up

In this lesson, children will organize and present tally sticks/marks to represent the number counted.

## Ten, Nine, Eight

In this lesson, children will orally count backwards from 10 to 1.

## The Tiny Seed

In this lesson, children will count the seeds by ones and twos and then put the packets in order from smallest to largest and vice versa.

## Tod und Leben (Life and Death)

In this lesson, children will play a card game and try to accumulate as many cards as possible by identifying the higher-ranking cards.

## Uno

In this lesson, children will practice sorting not-number cards from number cards and develop their number sense by identifying similar numbers, one below a number and one above a number.

## Vehicle Patterning

In this lesson, children will use vehicle counters to recreate existing patterns and find the unknown within a pattern.

## What Comes in Twos, Threes and Fours?

In this lesson, children will be able to recognize, sort and differentiate objects in groups of two, three and four.

## What’s in a Name?

In this lesson, children will count, compare, contrast and graph the number of letters in their names.

## Which is Tallest?

In this lesson, children will compare blocks of different lengths and lay them on a graphing map in order from shortest to tallest.

## Who’s Hiding?

In this lesson, children will analyze the book’s illustrations to determine which animal is hiding. The children will use the partial data in a guessing/thinking format to figure out which animal is hiding.

## Wonderful Worms

In this lesson, children will use colorful plastic worms of different sizes to measure various objects around the room.

## The Magic of Magnetism

“Look!” squeals three-year-old Eleanor.  “I can pick up these two balls! It’s magic!” Have you ever seen young children playing with magnets? The “magical” properties of magnets never fail to captivate early learners and spark a play buzz! Children learn by investigating, observing and figuring out how things work. Magnets fuel that curiosity in […]

## Fort Building 101

“LOOK!” screams a four-year-old with such joy that we know this isn’t a garden-variety “I want to share something with you” moment. As the gang rushes to her side, they come to a complete standstill, frozen in awe. Oh happy day! Some kind souls have shared a fort with the community! There before us […]

## Return of the Sand Gardens

“I found GOLD!” squeals Laura. Four little friends are quick to join her in the latest gold rush in the sandbox. In the wee hours of the morning, often when the sun is barely above the horizon and the coffee is still being brewed, gold will magically appear in our sandbox. Spray-painted rocks that […]

## Chalk Magic

“Vera, Vera!  Come see how bright the colors are in my rainbow!” Four-year-old Owen is ecstatic about his discovery of a colorful collection of wet chalk after a summer shower in our outdoor classroom. This happy accident has paved the way for a sensory adventure as we meet our math and science early learning standards […]

## May the Force be With You

“Look! The people blocks are in a line and they crash at the bottom,  just like when we play on the slide!” This is a lightbulb moment as Evelyn transfers knowledge gleaned from a previous play experience into her current hands-on learning. A chain-reaction domino fall during today’s block play reminds Evelyn of […]

## Rock and Roll

One bright fall morning, I notice that the noise level at Under the Gingko Tree is exceptionally low. A quick glance around reassures me that all of my early learners are safe and accounted for. Then I notice a quiet but intense play buzz happening in our rain garden, so I wander over to […]

“Do our shadows look like the monsters in the book?” asks James. I glance over and see James and Noa connecting their shadows by overlapping their arms. When we engage children in outdoor shadow play to support active exploration and discovery, their creativity is endless! James and Noa are playing out their version of […]

## STEM Building in the Window Frame

“AUGGGHHHH!” I hear screams, a crash and giggles galore. The joy of Magna-Tiles® has returned to our ever-popular window-stacking play. When these colorful magnetic tile mosaics come crashing down from the window frame, the children respond with laughter and joy. By contrast, the collapse of three-dimensional block formations often elicits groans and tears. Something […]

## STEM in the Bird Feeder

“I see the daddy cardinal, do you know where the mama bird is?” Four-year-old Noah, binoculars in hand, is busy counting birds in our outdoor classroom. Are you aware that the annual Great Backyard Bird Count is coming up later this week? This is a great opportunity to create a bird-watching station and knock out […]

## Rainbows, Sunshine and Superheroes

“Evie, come look! I’m a superhero! I have superpowers!” calls Jamie from the foyer. Curiosity piqued, Evie leaves her blocks behind to see what her best friend is up to now. “Rainbows!!!” Evie shrieks as she spies the colorful light pattern on Jamie’s wrist. Everyone within earshot dashes over to see the rainbows. And, […]

## Rainy-Day Block Play

Today’s dark skies and heavy rain have driven us indoors for what started out as a low-energy day. But now it’s even quieter—as in “too quiet.” I can feel my anxiety rising. But as I look around and see the children engaged in deep, calm block play—with wooden blocks strewn all over our classroom—I break […]

## A Small Whiff of STEM

“I smell cinnamon rolls!” exclaims Henry as he races through the gate towards our outdoor classroom. Everyone stops what they are doing to inhale deeply. “I do too! I want a cinnamon roll!” pleads Noah. My group is quite disappointed to learn that I am not baking cinnamon rolls this morning. The delicious cinnamon-roll […]

## STEM Play with Dominoes

“Hey, Evelyn!  Go get your cell phone and meet me at the stumps!” calls Noa. My head whirls around as I check the classroom to see if a cell phone has actually made its way into school today. Then I see Evelyn running to the basket of dominoes to get her “cell phone.” Whew! […]

## Full STEAM Ahead with Geoboards!

“Look what I made!” shouts Parker. Our moment of silent concentration and focus is interrupted by Parker ecstatically showing off her geoboard. “You made a house?” asks Linnea, looking a little wide-eyed and confused. “How did you do that?” “I just added shapes and it worked!” Parker answers, equally amazed by her own creation. “I […]

## Exploring Colors on the Light Table

As the days grow shorter and the slanting rays of sun that create our rainbows are replaced by clouds, we shift our energy to other forms of investigative play with light and color. “Saaliha, come play with me at the light table!” Nora calls out. Saaliha joins her friend and the STEM investigations into […]

## The Name Game

Sing and clap along to the tune of “Bingo.”  There was a boy with dark brown eyes and Timmy was his name – O! T – I – M – M – Y, T – I – M – M – Y, T – I – M – M – Y and Timmy was […]

## Math, Music and Memory!

“Five green and speckled frogs…sat on a speckled log…eating some delicious bugs. Yum yum! I hear a chorus of young voices singing in our outdoor classroom as three young friends hold hands and frolic around in a circle.  When we sing counting songs such as “Five Green and Speckled Frogs” or “This Old Man,” […]

## Sing a Song of Sixpence

Whether you grew up with Schoolhouse Rock, Sesame Street, the Electric Company, Romper Room or Raffi, chances are good that you can still sing a counting song that you learned way back then. Ah, there are some really great songs from those days and many a Schoolhouse Rock version is being used to teach “skip counting” […]

## Math, Music and Memory

“Five green and speckled frogs…sat on a speckled log…eating some delicious bugs. Yum yum!” I hear a chorus of voices singing in our outdoor classroom as three young friends hold hands and frolic around in a circle When we sing counting songs such as “Five Green and Speckled Frogs” or “This Old Man,” we […]

## Smiling Boot Prints in the Snow

Today is one of those magical winter mornings when snow blankets the ground and clings to the trees around our center.  The sun is shining and the world looks so sparkly and irresistible that we head outside in spite of the freezing temperatures. “Hey! Who has the smiling boot?” Jacoby calls out to the […]

## Stacking Up Early Math and Engineering Skills

“We can’t reach the top to make it bigger!” says Rowan with a giggle. “Can we stand on this table to make our tower taller?” Linnea pleads. Four-year-olds Rowan and Linnea have taken over the front foyer of our early childhood center for some serious block play. This bustling area will soon be filled with […]

## Sequencing Our Way Outdoors

Autumn has flown by—and winter is almost upon us! Here in Illinois, that means cooler temperatures and wrestling with winter outerwear. But here’s the good news: Getting the children dressed for outdoor play is a great way to meet your early math standards. Outdoor play in the winter months includes snow or rain pants, boots, coats, […]

## Incorporating Math Into Your Cold-Weather Routines

It’s November and, here in Illinois, that means cooler temperatures and winter outerwear. Getting the children dressed for outdoor play is one more way that you can meet your math standards while engaging in everyday activities. Outdoor play in the winter months includes snow or rain pants, boots, coats, hats and mittens. Getting my young group […]

## STEM Play With Pattern Blocks

“Hey, that’s cool. I like your guy!” says four-year-old Jaheem, peering over Michelea’s shoulder as she plays with her pattern blocks. “It’s not a guy; it’s a flower!” Michelea replies, tilting her head to try to see the “guy” that Jaheem is referring to. “That’s the stem and the leaves,” she explains, pointing to […]

## Eclipse Party 2024!

“The birds are chirping so loud—I think they’re scared,” said Vera as she looked up at the sky with a pair of certified safe eclipse glasses pressed against her eyes. She was absolutely right! The singing birds—along with the chirping crickets and the barking dogs in the neighborhood—were louder and more intense than usual as […]